April 24, 25 & 27, 2008

About and hour of sanding on both Thursday and Friday…nothing too exciting! Finished getting the excess epoxy off the last of the long panels. I still have some bubble craters to fill but that will get done in the finishing stage I think.

Nothing done on Saturday. Was at Scheer’s Karate Tournament all day, watching Hunter and then I did some scorekeeping in the afternoon. Hunter got skunked for medals. He is at the bottom of the blue to brown belt age 10-11 category in both belt ranking and age so I knew it was going to be a tough year for him. He won one sparring match but narrowly lost the second so finished out of the medals. Still, good fun watching the kata and sparring. Once again there was a large kung-fu contingent attending. They do not spar but their katas are very different from karate katas and I thoroughly enjoy watching them.

Anyways….back to the boatbuilding. On Sunday I did a little work. First I decided to finish taping up the bottom. So, I propped up the joint on one side with 2 2x4s which opened up the joint pretty well. Then, I ran my Japanese saw down the joint a couple of times to clean out the joint and roughen it up a bit. I vacuumed out the joint and then got everything ready to epoxy it.

I got a 20 gauge syringe from my wife and loaded it up with epoxy, screwed the needle back on and then tried squeezing some epoxy out…it wouldn’t work. It blew the needle off the syringe so I just squeezed epoxy into the joint and waited for it to works its way down to the far wide. It seemed to be going somewhere as I ran the syringe down the joint a couple of times. Then, I removed the blocking to let the joint settle and brushed out the squeezeout along the joint. I propped up the ends of the bottom until the bottom was flat and then I mixed up some more epoxy.

Brushed it on both sides of the joint, laid the first piece of tape into the epoxy, stretched it out and then used my hands to smooth it into the epoxy on the plywood. It got pretty saturated just doing that. Then, I brushed on more epoxy and used the brush to work it into the tape.

Suddenly, I remembered that I have a fiberglass bubble roller from Duckworks! Ran over to the door and kicked on it until Hunter answered. Got him to get me the box of stuff from the computer room and then get the roller out for me.

I tried rolling lengthwise. I tried rolling sideways…It seemed to be working a little although the tape was pretty saturated before I tried. Then, I added the second piece of tape, brushed on more epoxy and then tried to use the roller to get rid of any whitish spots and bubbles. Once I was satisfied, I laid the wax paper on top of the joint. This is when I think a lot of the surface cratering is happening so I used the roller to roll from the centre out to the edge and work out any air spaces at all until I had pretty good smooth contact witht eh paper everywhere. I put a piece of plywood on top and weighted it down. I’m going to leave it until Tuesday before I have a look. Hopefully the epoxy migrated right to the far side and is also smmoth and bubble free on the top side.

After that was done, I cut out a piece for the stem. The piece I took off the end of the 2 x 4 had a pitch pocket that I figured would come off when I cut the bevels. Well, I was wrong…the pocket was quite deep and went right into the beveled piece. I got busy and dug out the pocket with a chisel. It wound up leaving a divot 3-4 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and 3/8 inch deep. I debated filling it with epoxy and then just decided to cut another piece off and make another stem.

Altogether I spent about 4 hours over the last 4 days for a total of 62 hours. It’s going to be interesting to see just how long this boat takes me. I have been planning on 200 hours but I am thinking it will take me longer than that. It takes me longer to think my way through every step than it would for somebody with boatbuilding/woodworking experience.

My plan is to coat the sides and bulkheads with three coats of epoxy…with the places where they will be taped and filleted masked off … before starting to assemble the sides to the temporary form, bulkheads, stem and transom. I also have to finish the framing pieces for the transom before I can start assembly. I’ll have to cut those pieces out before I start laying down epoxy as I don’t want the epoxy filled with wood dust.

4/62

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